Have you had that dog that changed your life? Don’t get me wrong, I love each and everyone of my dogs, but there is something about that special one that can connect with you on a level that no one can understand. My 10 1/2 year-old mastiff trigger, he’s that one. Tell me about your dog that was “the one”, because I want tell you about this amazing dog, Trigger, too. I hope this story can resonate with you, and show how and why I got into dog training, and how the bond between man and dog can be so important.
When I was 18 I moved out to Chicago to follow my dreams of playing hockey. I was actually a pretty good athlete back in the day (when I used to be in shape believe it or not) and I thought that was my life path. College athletics, and who knows after that. Unfortunately at the time, God had a different plan. I suffered some pretty bad brain injuries when I was in Chicago that ended any chance of playing hockey again, and suffered severe symptoms for a few years. These symptoms led me down a terrible path of crippling anxiety, binge eating, depression, 22 different prescription medications, and a very lost kid. After a year, and trying everything under the sun, my parents thought it would be helpful we got a puppy, with the stipulation that I learn how to train dog’s from my Uncle Andy, who trained dog’s earlier in his life. It took me all one day to become fascinated with the world of dog training, I was hooked. I would have daily, hour long conversations with my Uncle, (still do to this day) and watch my idol at the time Cesar Milan about 5 hours a day. After doing my homework on what breed I felt would be best, having a mentor to guide me, and ready to fully commit to a puppy, I picked up my boy Trigger. This saved my fucking life.
You want to know what happens when you give a human purpose? The same thing that happens when you give a dog a purpose. They thrive, they become more confident, less stressed, and that 19 year old boy started to smile again, started to make jokes again, started to enjoy life again, all because of the love of his dog. I hate writing about him sometimes, because every time I do I cry my eyes out, and now this is embarrassing because I’m crying on a plane to Miami. Trigger taught me so much about life, giving 2nd chances, what it means to truly love someone, the importance of patience and calm teaching, I could go on for weeks. What he really taught me, is that a dog is so much more than a dog. Trigger has been with me every step of my life, and watching him grow old has been an absolutely blessing. He’s the coolest old dog in the world, (I can’t stop crying again Jesus). That is what I mean when I say “the one”. A connection that cannot be explained, cannot be understood by those who have never experienced it. I’m so blessed in this life, and thankful for Trigger and everything he has helped me achieve. Without him, I wouldn’t be here. Thank you baby boy.
Tell me about the dog that changed your life.
If you ever get the chance to catch my videos from 10 years ago of me training Trigger on my facebook page, you should watch them.